Shallow spring & the great act fails
The forsythia freezes
A half-dozen buds on each of several stems
Which for them means a weak few
& then summer
& likely leaves crimped to the red stems
Which then will spread

Sunlight & eventually
A white-blue bold jay will come here jumping
Dividing the right claw from the left
Shaking everything then rustling busily
Settling his wings


Mary Jane White holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has received NEA Fellowships in poetry and translation. Her first book, Starry Sky to Starry Sky, was published in 1988, and her work has appeared in AGNI (online), The American Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, Crazyhorse, The Anthology of Magazine Verse and Yearbook of American Poetry, The Black Warrior Review, The Louisville Review, and in other publications.

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